The Poke Thread
The Poke thread is the absolute number one round robin on the story board of the Acorn Cafe. Since it began in March of 2006, it has expanded into a monstrous story full of intricate, convoluted, semi-coherent plots and subplots (and even sub-sub-plots) that has topped 200 pages and 3100 posts and spawned at least four spin-off threads (as of July 2007). The thread started innocently enough with a post mentioningthis little flash. From there, patrons started poking each other, which eventually led to all-out paintball warfare.
The Poke thread has taken on a life of its own at the Cafe, and sometimes reflects current events on the board. For example, following several pieces of artwork that depicted Gadget as a werekitty, a plot evolved on the Poke thread that revolved around a werekitty invasion. Some staples of the Poke thread include recurring invasions by random bad guys from alternate evil universes and, of course, lots and lots of random- and brightly-colored paint. Also, a long-running gag of the thread was the number of concussions suffered by the Cafe member Ian (who eventually took the nickname "Concussion Magnet" as one of his aliases.) They were usually caused by being smacked in the head with progressively larger objects (a chair, a couch, a kitchen table, running headfirst into the shields of a starship) and the concussion count topped 11 before he was banned from the Cafe.
There were several plots throughout the lifespan of the Poke.
- The Paintball War - the first plotline of the Poke thread, generally featuring posters combating each other with paintball weapons. It was revealed later to have happened in a computer game.
- The Second Paintball War - After remaining dormant for a few months, the Poke thread was reactivated for another paintball war. This eventually turns into a shootout between several Cafe patrons and CCC's army of tripods. This is where Zat'Ni'Katel weapons (from the television show "Stargate: SG-1") are introduced.
- The WereKitty Invasion - the second major plotline of the Poke thread had the Cafe face a werekitty epidemic. Eventually, the werekitties are removed by the application of time travel. This is where large scale weaponry (such as combat starships and tanks) began to be used on the thread.
- Time Travel and Clarice - This subplot actually takes place during the Second Paintball War and the Werekitty Invasion. It involves erasing noted chipmunk nightclub singer Clarice (from Two Chips and a Miss) from the time stream, and then reinserting her. Essentially, it is a storytelling duel between RangerReady23 and Dutch Claricephile CD.
- The Dark Rangerphile Invasion - almost immediately after the werekitties were taken care of, Rangerphiles from a mirror (evil) universe invade the Cafe. The patrons rally forces to fight off their dark counterparts and turn them "good," and then take the fight to the alternate universe using the Rangergate.
- The REB-SCUM War - This part of the Poke thread was a duel between the forces of the REBs (the Racebest-[Severe Weather] Eddie-BOC42 alliance) and the forces of SCUM (Saboteurs and Criminals United in Mayhem, comprised of Ian (aka RiffRaff, aka Concussion Magnet) and Sparky Hardwire.)
- The Search for Home - Dr. Robotnik teleports all of the ships from the Cafe Starfleet across time and space. This plotline revolves around the efforts of the Patrons to return to the Cafe and retake it.
- The Case of Nell McConnor - initiated in the 3000th post. A small girl stumbles into the Cafe in search of the Rescue Rangers. Since they are unavailable, the Rangerphiles offer their help in finding her kidnapped father. This story has been moved to its own thread.
( ...please expand the list...)
Many of the Cafe patrons have participated in the Poke thread at one time or another. Here is a list of some of the bigger players:
- UrthQuake - started all the madness by poking random Cafe patrons
- bock's car - introduced paintball warfare when the .50 caliber Browning machine gun turrets on his B-29 Superfortress "malfunctioned," spraying the Cafe with multicolored paint.
- Campisi - Campisi, along with Ian, would usually punctuate the light-hearted warfare with Pulp Fiction quotations, random acts of ultra-violence, and the like. At one point, Campisi appeared to murder Tammy in a manner most vampiric, before Supercheese chose to cast the event as the climax of a virtual-reality simulation.
- Ian - Ian, in the early days of the Poke thread, would join in with Campisi on this and that orgy of violence and destruction. His actions were often a mix of feigned malice and self-depreciating humour.
- RangerReady23 - One of the most notable participants of all and one of the most active, RR is responsible for the thread's repeated reactivation after periods of inactivity. He usually does so by unleashing an enormous amount of fluorescent paint on unsuspecting patrons.
- CCC - CCC's Model AAA tripods are a staple of the Poke thread, and are partly responsible for the Second (Organized) Paintball War (though trigger-happy patrons were also to blame.) The tripods have been at the Cafe, consuming large amounts of scrap metal and appearing in stories and round robins ever since.
- Midnight Man - Midnight participated in the Second Paintball War and both the Werekitty and Dark Rangerphile invasions. He wielded weaponry on the ground, but was also known for taking to the air in his P-51D replica, The Storm.
- AndY - The Tammy-loving Squirrel participated in the Poke thread during its early days, and through both Invasions. Most of the time, the weapons of his choice were vintage tanks.
- Severe Weather Eddie - Another one of the most active participants, Eddie has participated in the Poke thread since the Second Paintball War. He uses his two huge battleships, Columbia and Hyperion, to take on larger threats to the Cafe (such as the Werekitties and the Dark Rangerphiles.) He is also a member of the REBs.
- BOC42 - Also known as "Boxy," she was active mostly during the REB-SCUM war as a starship captain, commanding the Intrepid-class USS Invictus.
- Racebest - Racebest has frequently contributed to the Poke thread throughout much of its lifespan. At one point, he commanded a tug boat, the USS Low Budget, which was known for its frequent engine trouble and other breakdowns (hence the name.) When asked what his notable contributions to Poke were, Racebest responded "enduring pain."
- Charles_Roberts - Charles_Roberts has had numerous characters on the Poke thread, the primary one being his alias Alexander Armington II. Charles is usually the one who brings in new bad guys for the Rangerphiles to fight, usually in the form of an existing villain from one of many animated cartoons, or an alternate universe version of the Rangerphiles themselves.
( ...please expand the list...)
"Poke isn't supposed to be a logical, logistical round robin with rules, really. It's just an excuse some of us thought up to constantly douse each other with paint and get into all out battles." -RangerReady23